Can you eat melon seeds?
In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can you eat melon seeds?”. We will also elaborate on the possible recipes for which we can use the melon seeds, the benefits of melon seeds, and the nutritional value of melon seeds.
Can you eat melon seeds?
Yes, you can eat melon seeds. The internal part of melon seeds is white known as a white inner kernel that has an oval shape.
Seeds belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family are known to be rich in oil. The high content oil shows useful characteristics such as odorlessness, good color. Melon seed oil is rich in bioactive components. These seeds are suitable for oil industrial applications (1).
Melon and seeds of melon
Melon is the most refreshing fruit of midsummer. It belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae that has almost the same characteristics and properties just like other fleshy fruits such as watermelon. Melon fruit is usually considered as a fruit of the eastern region because it originated from the Eastern countries.
Carotenoids and chlorophylls are the main pigments of melon pulp and rind. Melon fruits also contain protein and sugars; the major antioxidants in melons include phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, and carotenoids. Seeds contain vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, melons used as vegetables have flavonoids, alkaloids, and bitter principles, which improve their benefits to human health (1).
The seeds of melon are transported to other countries like America through the Spanish explorers and also by Columbus. In India, these refreshing fruits are found abundantly in the summer season. Melon is not too enriched with a high number of calories. Due to sugar and carbohydrate contents, melons are categorized as low-sugar fruit and release sugar slowly (1).
Melon also consists of a good content of water that makes the melon fruit more healthy and refreshing. In the middle of flesh, there are seeds of melon that are oval. The outer shell of seeds is hard and grayish-white in color covering the white-coloured internal edible parts.
Angiotensin-converting enzymes, or ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril and captopril are among the most widely used antihypertensive drugs. The mechanism of action for ACE inhibitors is through decreasing angiotensin II generation. ACE inhibitors not only treat hypertension but also have important heart, brain, and kidney protective actions in hypertension and comorbid conditions like diabetes. A study indicated that most melon samples had moderate to high ACE inhibition activity due to their amount of polyphenols, carotenoids, and other phytochemicals (1).
These seeds of melon are highly enriched with many nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, fats, and vitamins. Seeds do not have any specific scent by which we can identify them but have a sweet, and mild taste with some nutty flavor.
These melon seeds are of versatile nature which can be used for various purposes such as in baking, supari, as a snack food anytime, in refreshing drinks, as a dressing of bread cake, sweets, confectionery, and also can be used for toppings in different dishes.
How to choose melon seeds?
Melon seeds are wet when we extract them from the fresh flesh of melon but these are available in different stores, pantries, and supermarkets and also could be dried at home.
At home, you can spread the wet seeds on paper after extraction from melon and washing them. Let this paper be placed at a dry surface where sunlight can reach and let them dry for a few days. After the complete dryness of seeds, store them in a jar at a suitable place.
While commercially melon seeds are available in sealed jars or packets, where they are completely dried and have passed through a proper process of cleaning and drying. At the commercial level, melon seeds are available with their peels or shells. So that they can be used later.
White melon seeds are preferably used in India for cooking foods, not the seeds of watermelon.
Culinary uses of melon seeds
Different uses of melon seeds at the culinary level are described below:
- Melon seeds can be mixed with some other nuts and also with spices to use as a mouth freshener.
- Melon seeds can be used for making sweets, delicious dessert recipes, and tasty snacks.
- Traditionally, they also get used as a part of halwas and fudges of fruit, where melon seeds increase the flavor and taste of recipes.
- Melon seeds could also be used as a part of spicy dishes where melon seeds allow to attain the consistency of the dish.
- The melon covering which is hard in texture is also used in crushed form like flour of melon to prepare certain breeds such as exotic breeds.
- One of the good and innovative uses of melon seed is in cereals and various recipes of puddings.
- Melon seed flour can be used to make bread and cookies
- Melon seed oil is used as culinary oil in many countries (2)
How to store melon seeds?
Storage conditions are decisive in ensuring the physiological quality of the seeds, and although their quality cannot be improved, good conditions during this time will help to keep the seeds viable for longer, slowing down the deterioration process. Melon seeds should be stored in an airtight jar or container where they could be kept away from air to prevent moisture and also to enhance the shelf life of melon seeds. The packaging used for storage should help slow the deterioration process with the aim of decreasing respiration, thus maintaining the initial moisture content of the stored seeds. Further, for its storage, you should prefer a dark and dry place (3).
Health benefits of melon seeds
Some of the possible health benefits that we can get from melon seeds are described below:
- Melon seeds help to lower blood pressure by using the potassium content of melon seeds.
- It also makes the hair and nails healthy.
The nutritional content of melon seeds
Melon seeds are considered as a powerhouse of a variety of nutrients such as zinc, calcium, protein, folic acids, different vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, E, a significant amount of iron, and the most important fatty acids which help to maintain the health of the cardiac system.
Melon seeds contain high percentages of lipids, proteins, and fibers. They present antiproliferative activity and antioxidant properties, in addition to their prebiotic potential. In addition, the presence of flavonoids and phenolic compounds reaffirms that the melon seed flour Cucumis melo L. has high antioxidant properties. They contain significant amounts of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. Melon seeds are rich in lipids, mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic and linolenic. Additionally, they have considerable amounts of essential amino acids, such as isoleucine, methionine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and valine (2).
The nutritional profile of melon seed flour, which is made of dried ground melon seeds is following (2):
Dietary Fibre 35.48
Caloric Value (Kcal/100 g) 425.41
Other FAQs about Melon that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Can you eat melon seeds?”. We have also elaborated on the possible recipes for which we can use the melon seeds, the benefits of melon seeds, and the nutritional value of melon seeds.
- Manchali S, Chidambara Murthy KN, Vishnuvardana, Patil BS. Nutritional Composition and Health Benefits of Various Botanical Types of Melon (Cucumis melo L.). Plants. 2021, 10, 1755.
- da Cunha, Josiane Araújo, et al. From seed to flour: sowing sustainability in the use of cantaloupe melon residue (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus). PloS one, 2020, 15, e0219229.
- Lima, Denise de Castro, et al. Storage of sunflower seeds. Rev Ciên Agron, 2014, 45, 361-369.